Thursday, October 30, 2008

Craft Show... Lessons Learned

Back in September, when I didn't have internet access to keep you all updated on Junie None news, I participated in the Saratoga Art and Wine Festival. It was my first craft show and I was super nervous - so nervous that I forgot to bring my camera. So this picture is (again) from my friend Jen of some of the products I had on display.

Now, I will be honest and confess that I had what those in my professional field call "delusions of grandeur"; in the days leading up to the event I imagined selling out of everything, being mobbed by adorable mommies snatching up blankets and bibs, and even dreamed of the new sewing machine I would buy with my earnings. Well, by the end of the event I had experienced another psychological phenomenon: reality. I sold a few things, but in the end I broke even financially and DEFINITELY put more into the show than I got out of it. Several lessons learned:

1.) People generally don't go to art and wine festivals for the art. They are there for the wine. If I ever do a craft show again, I will do one that is strictly craft oriented, as I think it will attract more people in the market for hand-made goods.

2.) Things you never thought you'd need: white duct tape, tiny safety pins, a change of clothes to put on after you set up, and WATER - who would have thought that an art and wine festival could sell out of water. Hmm... In order to be completely prepared, in the weeks leading up to the event you will also need a toddler who naps at least 2 hours per day; a husband who is willing to take endless requests to build things, hang things, and paint things; and a personal chef, housekeeper, and chauffeur because you won't have time to do ANY of the things you are supposed to be doing.

3.) Bottom line: don't do a craft show when you are 7 months pregnant. It's really not a very good idea for a multitude of reasons, not the least of these being the frequency with which you will need to use the one bathroom which is three blocks away from where your booth is set up. Also, you will cry. Being pregnant adds this hazard to pretty much any occasion, but doing a craft show is really stressful and tiring, so there is just no avoiding it.

To sum up, I will think long and hard before agreeing to do a craft show again. It was a humbling and exhausting experience, but I DID learn how much my family and friends are dedicated to supporting me in this Junie None endeavor. So many people (namely my husband, dad, and mother-in-law) helped me, and even more showed up to support me, and that was really touching. And at the end of the day when I was a weeping, humbled mess, nobody said anything about how few blankets I had sold. They just fed me a nice italian dinner, drove me home, and put me to bed, happy to have me back and hoping I would wake up with enough energy to run a load or two of laundry.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I love your photos..they are really nice...

Jen Mc. said...

Beautifully written, as always! And since your booth was the best one at the festival, I would just like to point out that I think every booth there was full of weepy geniuses. (Poor advertising!). And it was really fun to be shopping in your real store!! (Maybe just a sneak peek on that front??). Well, we can let you have this baby first, I guess. :)